To play the media you will need to either update your browser to a recent version or update your Flash plugin.
Welcome to Hyperion Records, an independent British classical label devoted to presenting high-quality recordings of music of all styles and from all periods from the twelfth century to the twenty-first.
Hyperion offers both CDs, and downloads in a number of formats. The site is also available in several languages.
Please use the dropdown buttons to set your preferred options, or use the checkbox to accept the defaults.
Chanson de printemps is another wonderful song. The poet Tourneux is scarcely a revered master but Gounod makes of this rather conventional spring lyric an extraordinarily vibrant paean to the new season. It is true that the typical Gounod is not usually as fleet of foot as this (it is this type of excitement which seems so seldom generated in the later songs) but here we have real energy—a quality which the Germans call Schwung in which nothing can stop the momentum of the rising sap. The piano never stops weaving semiquavers for an instant; this provides a cat’s cradle over which the vocal line can soar—and even in a song as fast as this the declamation never sounds hurried; as in all the best Gounod songs sensual languidity is built into the very rise and fall of the vocal line whatever the tempo of the piece. The chromatically rising harmonies underneath the final two lines of each strophe (repeated in each case) are superbly placed to set up the reprise of the introduction to the following verse. And we do not mind hearing the same music all over again. The breadth and span of the vocal line (the harmonies opening up like petals of an exotic flower) make the song a worthy antecedent to such moto perpetuo-accompanied mélodies by Fauré as Nell and La mer est infinie. In 1866 Gounod arranged this song as his fifth Romance sans paroles for piano.
Viens, enfant, la terre s’éveille Le soleil rit au gazon vert! La fleur au calice entr’ouvert Reçoit les baisers de l’abeille. Respirons cet air pur! Enivrons-nous d’azure! Là-haut sur la colline La neige de pommiers Parfume les sentiers.
Viens, enfant, voici l’hirondelle Qui passe en chantant dans les airs. Ouvre ton âme aux frais concerts Éclos sous la feuille nouvelle. Un vent joyeux, là-bas, Frémit dans les lilas, C’est la saison bénie, C’est l’amour, c’est la vie! Qu’un fleuve de bonheur Inonde notre cœur!
Viens, enfant, c’est l’heure charmante Où l’on voudrait rêver à deux. Mêlons nos rêves et nos yeux Sous cette verdure naissante. Salut, règne des fleurs, Des parfums, des couleurs! Les suaves haleines Voltigent sur les plaines, Le cœur épanoui Se perd dans l’infini!
Eugène Tourneux (?-?)
Come, little one, the earth awakens, The sun smiles on the green grass! The half-opened flower Is kissed by the honey bee. Breathe the pure air! Let the blue sky intoxicate us! Come and pick hawthorn! The fallen apple blossom Fills the paths with fragrance.
Come, little one, there is the swallow Passing by, singing in the air. Open your heart to the spring concert Blooming in young leaves. Yonder a joyful wind Plays among the lilacs; It is the blessed season, It is love, it is life! May a river of happiness Flow in our heart!
Come, little one, it is the charmed hour When one wants to dream together. Let us mingle our dreams and our eyes Underneath the nascent greenery. Hail, kingdom of flowers, Of scents, of colours! Gentle breezes Waft over the meadows; The radiant heart Loses itself in infinity!